Wednesday, July 31, 2013

vegan caesar

Caesar salad doesn't have to be eggs and anchovies! This vegan recipe is super creamy, garlicky, and simple! I've experimented with all sorts of ingredients to find the perfect vegan caesar. What I've found that makes it the creamiest, is cashews. I start by soaking the cashews for a few hours in water, this activates all sorts of enzymes, and makes them easy to blend and digest.

  • 1/2 cup  soaked cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice form 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
Blend cashews and water and set aside in fridge for at least a 1/2 hour. The longer you let it set, the thicker it will get, but it will still taste amazing if you don't have time to wait! Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. I like mine tossed with regular green or red leaf lettuce, topped with avocado, cucumber and pumpkin seeds, yum...

original recipe

Saturday, July 27, 2013

beetroot hummus

Before I get to the hummus, how cute is this pineapple!? I call it a tea cup pineapple

Now for the hummus. 
  • 1 large beet
  • 1 small can garbanzo beans (rinsed)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
Peel and cube the beet. Boil until just  soft enough to break with a fork, they don't have to be too soft, just soft enough to blend. Drain and set aside to cool.

Add all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth! I had to add about a Tbsp of water to get mine to the right consistency, you might need more or less, but not much. This dip is sooooo good with nut-thins (gluten and wheat free crackers) or with celery sticks! 

I have also done this with more beets and less beans, it's a lot sweeter and a lot pinker! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Kauai was all about the beers on the beach. PBR and PB&J's were the everyday essentials. We camped in a van, found secluded beaches, hiked part of the Na Pali coast, dined like we were on vacation, and toured the whole island. All in four days. I was nothing but unhealthy on this little trip, so I'm not going to elaborate on my diet for this post, but lets just say its time for a detox, and a run! Here are just a few highlights. 

kalalau lookout
view of ke'e beach
surf lookout

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

friends with chickens

The girls

This week we have another friend out of town, and we get to feed the chickens! Chicken-sitting. It's so much fun. The first few days I wasn't feeding them enough so they were venturing out into the neighbor's yard, foraging for food. Naughty girls. But they came back running when I showed up with their dinner! Its so fun playing farm!

My hubby came with me today to do the rounds. The girls were all over him. 

And we get to eat from the garden! Fresh kale and eggplant, this is definitely going to be dinner tonight. Thanks Julie and Ryan! I'll take care of the girls any time!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

cheesy vegan pasta bake

loving all the tiny attention to detail at my sister-in-law's house, so bali

I made my first vegan alfredo sauce last week, didn't perfect it, so didn't post it. It was amazing, but there were a few things I would have changed. I also didn't keep very good track of how much of everything I was putting in there! Thats how I usually cook, just throw it all together without a recipe, so keeping track of my own recipes is a new challenge!

I really wanted to cook something in the oven tonight because we are housesitting for my sister-in-law and I get to use a full size oven! So I thought I would perfect my cheesy vegan sauce, and then bake it. I'm not going to lie though, I did search for some guidance. I found an awesome recipe that used almost exactly the same ingredients that I used in my alfredo sauce before, but in a bake! So, I've adjusted a few things, added a few things, and just for kicks, because I'm almost vegan, I'm putting parmesan cheese on top! Ha! The original recipe can be found at

  • 8 oz of brown rice penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 zucchini (1/2 grated and 1/2 thinly sliced)
  • 4-6 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • handful fresh herbs (basil and parsley) 
for the sauce
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened*
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta and set aside. Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter and coconut oil in pan, add onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add flour and cook just two minutes, it should be pretty pasty. Stir in milk and keep on stirring until thickened and boiling. Stir in yeast, nutmeg, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Sauce is at its thickest point when it comes to a boil, so if its too thick for you, add some more milk!

Fold together pasta, sauce, grated zucchini, chopped fresh spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and chopped herbs. Transfer into glass baking dish and topped with the thin slices of zucchini. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, top with parmesan cheese (optional) and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

This first photo is before it went in the oven. That's about the time when our dinner guests arrived with this beautiful salad,

and lets just say, when the wine was flowing and the bake was on the table, there was no time for a photo. I suddenly remembered to take one just before Tom ate the last helping! It was the perfect amount for four people, that is, if your husband eats like mine does.

* this coconut milk I'm talking about isn't the coconut cream found in a can that tastes strongly of coconut. Just another kind of non-dairy milk, found in the same kind of carton as soy or almond milk, and usually in the same section. Its super creamy, great for this recipe, but doesn't taste like coconuts. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

homemade seedy cereal

This cereal is inspired by two things, Pura Veda, and my co-worker Katie. Pura Veda is a seed mix that both of us found in Australia.  I loved it immediately, putting it in all my smoothies, with my cereal in the morning, and eventually making my own. That was years ago now, but this revised version has most of the same ingredients with a few extras. I got the idea of soaking and cooking the cereal from Katie, she also adds cacao to hers. Thanks Katie, I'm loving my new breakfast!

The best part about it is that it's good hot right off the stove or saved in a jar for breakfast throughout the week! I like to make at least three portions at once; one to eat hot, and two to be jarred and refrigerated.

The dry mix goes like this

equal parts of
  • buckwheat groats
  • millet
  • amaranth
  • quinoa
and a little bit less of
  • sesame seeds
  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds
This is what sits in a in my cupboard, ready for activation.

1 1/2 cups of the mixture usually makes about three portions. Soak seed/grain mixture with water, 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder, a few goji berries, and a pinch of cinnamon overnight in the fridge. The next morning add another 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup almond milk and cook on stove top for 10 minutes. You can always add more liquid or less if you like it thicker or thinner, or you want to cook it more (the more you cook it the easier it is on your digestive system). I usually add extra almond milk to make it creamier.

Sooo good with fresh bananas and berries!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

tangy bean sprout and brown rice salad

I'm finally putting my first project to use! I did a sprouting post a few weeks ago and sprouted lentils. The lentil sprouts were so tasty they didn't even make it into a recipe to post! They got eaten in sandwiches, tacos and on top of many salads. But I just recently sprouted some mung beans. The sprouting method is exactly the same as the lentils, so if you want to sprout your own, use my post!

My husband and I both like to bring our own lunches to work, so I try to make salads that are a meal instead of just a side (hence the brown rice). And that you can eat cold the next day. My inspiration for this salad I fount at the healthy foodie. Most of the ingredients are the same, but I modified it quite a bit based on what I had, or didn't have, in my fridge!

  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 4 mini peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouted mung beans, or more ;)

for the dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp Braggs amino acids
combine all ingredients into food processor and blend.
dry toast the coconut and sesame seeds (without oil) until fragrant and golden. set aside.
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp white or natural sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup cashew pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
heat coconut oil in the same pan and add cashew pieces, toast until golden. 
combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add two cups cooked brown rice and toss until evenly mixed! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

vegan potluck bbq

Ok, so the whole potluck isn't going to be vegan, but my dish is. Bringing a dish to a bbq or dinner is a sure fire way to know there is going to be something healthy and vegan there for me to eat! Otherwise, I could end up eating something very naught (usually containing cheese), and in rare cases, there won't be anything there I want to eat. Everyone knows summer is full of bbqs, yard parties, and any other sort of evening get together, because the weather is nice and the days are longer. Here on Maui though, it's always nice. Bbqs year-round! This tends to mean lots of beer, and lots of not so healthy eating. I am definitely still perfecting my eating habits in situations like these (chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, topped off with beers and burgers), and what I've found most effective is bringing the healthy food myself.

fruit kebobs- easy, delicious, and aids in digestion

I skewered pineapple and papaya, but you could really do anything; strawberries, melon, grapes, you name it!

quinoa salsa salad- lots of fresh ingredients and packed with flavor

  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 3 cups water
rinse quinoa and cook either in a rice cooker (which is what I do) or stovetop, for about twenty minutes or until water is absorbed and the quinoa tails have separated. Set aside to cool.
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 medium avocados (or two small ones)
  • 15oz can black beans
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Chop up all veggies, including the spinach. Drain and rinse black beans. Mix all ingredients with quinoa and taste, adjust seasoning if necessary.

No excuses not to eat healthy tonight!